Godard, Iñárritu, Kiarostami lead Cannes line-up

Joseph Fahim
11 Min Read

New films by some of art cinema’s most feted filmmakers lead the 63rd Cannes Film Festival’s line-up, festival chief Thierry Fremaux revealed on Thursday. Sixty-four features will be screened in the various sections of the fest which runs from May 12-23.

Leading this year’s competition is Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful starring Javier Bardem. Iñárritu was last seen in Cannes in 2006 when he won the best director award for his multi-narrative drama “Babel.

Palm d’Or winner Abbas Kiarostami (“Taste of Cherry ) returns with “Certified Copy, his first feature narrative since 2002’s “Ten. The French/Italian/Iranian production, Kiarostami’s first film to be shot outside Iran, stars Juliette Binoche.

Another Golden Palm winner, British auteur Mike Leigh (“Secrets & Lies “Happy-Go-Lucky ), makes an overdue return to the French Croisette with new comedy “Another Year starring Jim Broadbent and Imelda Staunton.

Veteran Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov presents a surprising sequel to his 1994 Grand Prix winner, “Burnt by the Sun. Iconic Japanese director Takeshi Kitano (“Dolls, “Zatôichi ) returns to the gangster film for the first time since 2000’s “Brother with “Outrage.

Making their Cannes debut this year are Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (“Daratt ) with “Un Homme Qui Crie (A Screaming Man), acclaimed Russian documentary director Sergei Loznitsa with “You, My Joy and popular French actor Mathieu Almaric (“Un conte de Noël, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly ) with “Tournée.

Along with Almaric’s latest directorial effort, France is represented in completion with three more films: Xavier “Le petit lieutenant Beauvois’s “Des hommes et des dieux (“Of Gods and Men, ), Rachid “Days of Glory Bouchareb’s Algerian co-production “Hors-la-loi (Outside the Law), and celebrated filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier’s period drama, “La Princesse de Monptpensier.

The US is represented in competition with single entry: Doug Liman’s conspiracy thriller “Fair Game starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Egyptian star Khaled Nabawy.

The most anticipated competition films come from South Korea and Thailand. Im Sangsoo (“The President’s Last Bang ) unleashes his much hyped remake of Kim Ki-young s 1960 classic thriller, “The Housemaid.

Lee Chang-dong, who made a big splash in 2007 with his best actress winner “Secret Sunshine, will vie for the fest’s top prize with “Poetry.

The most hyped competition entry this year is Apichatpong Weerasethaku’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Widely regarded as one of the most important filmmakers working today, the Thai director took fest circuits by storm with Tropical Malady (2004) and Syndromes and a Century, two of the landmark films of the past decade.

Outside the competition, Cannes favorite Woody Allen goes back to London with his latest star-studded rom-com, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, featuring Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin and “Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto.

Having not scored a hit since 1999’s “Any Given Sunday, American provocateur Oliver Stone will attempt to win back his fans with “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the much buzzed-about sequel to his 1987 Oscar winner. Michael Douglas reprises his original role alongside Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan and Susan Sarandon. Meanwhile, celebrated British filmmaker Stephen Frears (“My Beautiful Laundrette, “The Queen ) turns his attention to the unlikely medium of comics with “Tamara Drewe starring Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper.

In the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section, the greatest living French filmmaker, Jean-Luc Godard, finally breaks his six-year hiatus with the long-awaited documentary “Socialism.

Romanian helmer Cristi Puiu follows his highly acclaimed 2005 Un Certain Regard winner The Death of Mister Lazarescu with “Aurora, the second installment of his planned “Six Stories from the Outskirts of Bucharest series. Fellow Romanian newcomer, Radu Muntean (“The Paper Will Be Blue, “Boogie ), steers away from the social politics that has defined the Romanian new wave with domestic drama “The Paper Will Be Blue.

Beloved South Korean director Sang-soo Hong (“On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate, “Woman on the Beach ) offers his latest creation, “Hahaha; the 2009 Director Fortnight winner, Xavier Dolan (“I Killed My Mother ), will hope to replicate last year’s success with Les amours imaginaires; Japanese cult director Hideo Nakata, director of the original “Ring movies and “Dark Waters, changes gears for British teenage drama “Chatroom.

Two of America’s hottest indie directors, Lodge Kerrigan (“Keane ) and Derek Cianfrance, will attempt to repeat their stateside success with “Rebecca H. (Return to the Dogs) and “Blue Valentine, respectively. The latter – a romantic drama starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams – has already garnered raving reviews at January’s Sundance Film Festival.

Other highlights showing at the fest’s various sidebars are Mexican star Diego Luna’s sophomore directorial effort, “Abel ; American documentarian Charles Ferguson’s “Inside Job, the follow-up to Oscar nominee “No End in Sight ; and American indie maverick Gregg Araki (“Mysterious Skin ) with his sci-fi comedy, “Kaboom.

Like every year, the 2010 line-up raised eyebrows for some of the high-profile productions that have snubbed.

Chief among the bunch is Julian Schnabel’s “Miral. Reports claim that Schnabel refused the out of competition slot the fest has offered him, opting instead to wait for Venice. Based on a true story, “Miral charts a Palestinian woman’s struggle to build an orphanage following the 1948 Nakba. Willem Dafoe, Freida Pinto and Hiam Abbass star.

Other notable works that have been overlooked include Francois Ozon s Potiche, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu; Susanne Bier’s Holocaust drama “The Revenge ; Julie Bertucelli s The Tree, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg; and “Carlos the Jackal, Olivier “Summer Hours Assayas’ epic biopic of the infamous Venezuelan revolutionary.

Up to four competition slots remain vacant at the moment though; any of these films could eventually be included in the upcoming weeks. Rumors that Tom “Run Lola Run Tykwer’s new comedy, “Three, might also be considered for competition.

Other films still stuck in post-production were not finished on time for the fest. The one film everyone hoped would make the cut is Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life starring Sean Penn and Brad Pitt. One of the year’s most touted film, “Tree’s producers indicated that the film could be done on time for Cannes.

Malick (“Badlands, “Days of Heaven, “The Thin Red Line ), a director known for perfectionism, usually takes at least a year at the editing room and although Fremaux left the door open for the film to join if finished within the next three weeks, the prospects of having a final cut is highly unlikely at the moment. In fact, Malick’s fans should count themselves lucky if the film is released before the end of the year.

Other prominent names certain to miss Cannes is Hungarian luminary Béla Tarr (“Sátántangó, “Werckmeister Harmonies ) whose new – and reportedly his last – film, “The Turin Horse, might be finished on time for Venice.

With a noticeable dearth of Hollywood and European stars, this year’s Cannes edition might have a rough road ahead. The marquee of this year’s art-house auteurs, despite their eminence, falls short of 2009’s gigantic names – von Trier, Hanake, Tarantino, and Almodóvar to name a few. Last year’s highly successful edition will surely prove to be a tough act to follow.

The 63rd Cannes Film Festival kicks off on May 12 with Ridley Scott’s period epic “Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.

Full list

CompetitionMathieu Amalric: Tournee Xavier Beauvois: Of Gods And Men Rachid Bouchareb: Hors La Loi Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu: Biutiful Mahamat Saleh Haroun: A Screaming Man (Un Homme Qui Crie)Im Sang-soo: Housemaid Abbas Kiarostami:
Certified Copy Takeshi Kitano: Outrage Lee Chang-dong: Poetry Mike Leigh: Another Year Doug Liman: Fair Game Sergei Loznitsa: You. My Joy Daniele Luchetti: La Nostra Vita Nikita Mikhalkov: Burnt By The Sun 2 Bertrand Tavernier: La Princesse De Montpensier Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Loong Boonmee Raleuk Chaat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives)

Out of CompetitionOliver Stone: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Woody Allen: You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger Stephen Frear: Tamara Drewe

Un Certain RegardHong Sang-soo: Hahaha Cristi Puiu: Aurora Xavier Dolan: Les amours imaginaires Jean-Luc Godard: Socialisme Ágnes Kocsis: Pál Adrienn Derek Cianfrance: Blue Valentine Manoel de Oliveira: O estranho caso de Angelica Lodge Kerrigan: “Rebecca H. (Return to the Dogs) Ivan Fund and Santiago Loza: Los Labios (The Lips)Fabrice Gobert: “Simon Werner a Disparu. Christoph Hochhausler: “Unter Dir Die Stadt (The City Below)Vikramaditya Motwane: “Udaan Radu Muntean: “Marti Dupa Craciun (Tuesday, After Christmas)Hideo Nakata: “Chatroom Oliver Schmitz: “Life Above All Daniel Vega: “Octubre David Verbeek: “R U There Xiaoshuai Wa: “Rizhao Chongqing (Chongqing Blues)

Special ScreeningDiego Luna: Abel Charles Ferguson: Inside Job Sophie Fiennes: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow Patricio Guzman: Nostalgia De La Luz (Nostalgia For The Light)Sabina Guzzanti Draquila: L italia Che Trema Otar Iosselini: Chantrapas

Midnight ScreeningGregg Araki: Kaboom Gustavo Hernandez: The Mute House

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